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Speculative Art Histories Symposium

International research symposium, 2 - 4 May 2013
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and the Centre for Art and Philosophy of Erasmus University in Rotterdam
Saturday 4 May 2013, 10.30 am
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Witte de Withstraat 50, 3012 BR Rotterdam

Keynote lecture by Elisabeth von Samsonow


Plasticity seems to be a characteristic quality of the real, against the backdrop of the virtuality and ontological flatness of simulation, and even may be taken synonymous to its objectivity. A contemporary endeavour to set free the trans-human, dialogic and animist potentials of plasticity may well start off by a philosophical revision of architecture. Architecure claims a zone of transition, of passage in the sense of „objet de passage", as it modulates, interpretes, structures the body's coming-to-the-world. It is the machine of pure sensation, expressing primitive joy of embodiment or pure sensation. The paper tries to question contemporary architecture, which has been profoundly critized recently by Hal Foster, in its ability to still play that role. Does the Eros of Space, as the baroque philosopher Tommaso Campanella had declared it („corpora gaudiunt in spacio") turned out in contemporary architecture to be pornography, anticipating and simulating sensation more than offering an understanding of the plasticity of the real?

Download full Programm HERE.